HandPans Magazine - The PANArt Hang, HandPan, and Hank Drum Explored

Welcome to HandPans Magazine. A place where like you, we're very much interested in all things Hang, Hank Drum, and HandPan related. Our mission, if we have one other than documenting our own interest in, and love for these beautiful instruments, is to try and offer useful information regarding these singing steel 'sound sculptures', right here on site. While at the same time pointing you towards more in-depth resources, instrument makers, artists, the latest news, and anything else that 'tickles us' too, elsewhere on the web.
We may not always get it right. But we can promise you this, we'll never shout at you for accidentally, or mistakenly calling the PANArt Hang a 'Hang Drum' (a big 'no-no' in certain circles), and that you'll always be welcome on this site, whether you're 'lucky' enough to be deemed to 'resonate', with PANArt's 'Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer' (and will possibly one day get to own, or already own a Hang), or not (because there's plenty of other great options out there for you too).

The Xuansound - China's First HandPan Maker

Why the news of the first HandPan to appear from China’s shores should really be of any greater importance than the first to appear from any other country, is hard to say.  But it is.  If you believe everything that’s been piped out of Televisions here in the West for the last ten years or so, China wants to swallow us up, in every niche, and in every market, China will do it, if not necessarily better, than certainly cheaper.  China, if you believe the hype, is COMING FOR US ALL, and even the HandPan is not safe from this now woken Dragon.

For years now (at time of posting) people have prophesied the coming of the ‘YamaHang’.  A mass-produced Chinese export, that would with its arrival: DESTROY THE WORLD OF HANDPAN AS WE CURRENTLY KNOW IT!!!

The Xuansound HandPan

The first HandPan to come from China’s shores, comes in the form of the Xuansound HandPan.  And the good news is, in our opinion, this is far from the cheap-plastic-Christmas-cracker-toy, that many have feared.  But is instead, the beginnings of what should blossom into a great sounding Handpan, indeed, even the early offerings that we’re listening to at time of posting, are sounding pretty sweet already.

And in fact, there is evidence of a growing HandPan community in China.  Something that tends to foster both demand for, and produce those with interest enough to learn the skills to make, quality instruments.

So that for now, the coming of the YamaHang, remains still to pass (though the Oval guys might be taking a stab at it).  To hear more of the Xuansound HandPan, and follow their progress, you can visit them over at YouTube: HERE.

From Pizza Pan to HandPan, in Two Years - The Aura HandPan Evolution

Recently I posted a thread in the forums on attempting to make a HandPan from a wok, explaining that to date, we'd never seen any kind of success at this.  And then, while watching the latest (and beautiful sounding) video from Aura, I remembered that for Jon Antzoulis (the Aura maker), it actually did start off in a very similar manner.  With a 'Pizza Pan'.

Two years ago (at time of posting), Jon Antzoulis posted the following video to YouTube...



As kitchen utensil attempt videos go, this one clearly shows, that to some degree, it can be done.

A year or so later Jon Antzoulis posts his first prototype video...



And we can clearly see that things were progressing nicely.

Another six months on and we find this video...



More progress.

And then we have this...



The most recent video from Jon Antzoulis, as of April 2014, of an Aura Kurd 9.  Uploaded just two years after the pizza pan video was shared (marking the beginning of the Aura HandPan), and we're here, listening to an instrument, that to our ears; sounds incredibly beautiful.  From pizza pan, through prototypes, to a HandPan that can now boast that 'Choir of Angels' quality, that the best of these instruments are renowned for.

So that while taking a hammer to a pizza pan, may, or may not be; the best way to begin your journey as a HandPan maker (should you be considering building your own).  As the Aura maker has proven, it probably isn't the worst place in the world to begin...

You can follow the continuing evolution of the Aura at Facebook: HERE

Or at YouTube: HERE

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